“When I saw the post of Heidi’s big, bright eyes they had so much hope in them. We just started asking ourselves, what if that were one of our dogs?” –Sarah Mauthe, Heidi’s foster mom
As the only open-admission shelter in the state, Nevada Humane Society stands by that commitment and accepts any pet that is vulnerable and in need of care. This includes stray animals regardless of their age, health conditions or behavior issues.
It was clear in Heidi’s intake process that this very senior Cattle Dog mix may have been on her own and “on the road” for some time before being brought to our Reno Shelter.
Following her diagnostic review by our Veterinary Team, Heidi’s exams indicated that she was suffering from advanced Arthritis. It was also confirmed that she had Cushing’s Disease, which means that her body produces too much of a hormone called cortisol, placing stress on her system over all. These combined maladies qualified Heidi as an Angel Pet and a Hospice Foster at our Reno shelter, which meant that we would continue covering the cost of her care and providing her with all needed medications, if we could just find her a foster home to be comfortable in, to help her get out of the shelter.
Although senior dogs (and cats) make wonderful pets, they are often overlooked due to their age and ongoing medical concerns. It takes a special family and home setting to intentionally seek out adoptable pets like Heidi.
Leonard and Sarah Mauthe were just the family who could provide this special home. They just happened to have two litter mates from a previous foster-adoption that were puppies when they first came home. Maggie and Jackson are now almost 15 years old, and Len and Sarah weren’t sure if it would be fair to them to foster a new, boisterous puppy.
Sarah is a Doctor and knows the challenges her dogs face with Arthritis and Vestibular Syndrome. Maggie and Jackson can’t do what they used to physically, and she wants to keep them enriched and busy. Sarah and Len are amazing pet parents and bring two different veterinary specialists to their house each month. Every week Maggie and Jackson receive either laser therapy or acupuncture treatments right at home to relieve pain and improve healing.
Sarah has followed our Instagram account for some time. One morning, she saw a picture of Heidi wearing a Santa Hat, read her profile and instantly thought she would be a great fit for Maggie, Jackson and their incredibly pet-friendly lifestyle. These similar medical conditions, in-home treatment plan and energy levels created the ideal setting for Heidi –who was a perfect match for their dogs.
“When I saw the post of Heidi’s big, bright eyes they had so much hope in them. We just started asking ourselves, what if that were one of our dogs?” –Sarah Mauthe, Heidi’s foster mom.
They promptly called us to make their appointment, had an amazing visit with Heidi, and signed their Hospice Foster paperwork in less than a day. Remarkably, Heidi was about to transition from living on the streets and coping with the stress of the shelter, to sitting comfortably in the Mauthe family car.
Upon arrival, Heidi walked into the house where Maggie and Jackson gently greeted her and welcomed her home. All seemed blissful right from the start.
Sarah recalls, “We have a piano. Heidi walked up to the piano, laid down, closed her eyes and slept for 16 hours. She didn’t even get up to eat or ask to go outside. We were a little worried at first, but feel that Heidi’s soul was so drained from the uncertainty of the past as a stray, she was simply exhausted. She needed to rest, and chose our piano as the spot where she finally felt safe.”
She settled in nicely and her sweet personality resonated beautifully with her new siblings. Sarah and Heidi rise extra early in the morning and head over to the treadmill so Sarah can jog. Heidi sits next to her, provides moral support, and waits patiently for their shared breakfast that will soon be served. It’s their special time of day.
Heidi will get her exercise a bit later when she joins Maggie and Jackson for their group walk. This senior look-alike trio has a combined age of 42 years and takes a humorously long time to get to the end of the block. They have become neighborhood favorites for their athletic prowess and dedication to good health each day.
“Bringing Heidi into the family has enriched us all in so many ways. Maggie and Jackson are happier, peppier and are more active as a result. They are The New Happy Pack. Watching Heidi show early improvements from her acupuncture and laser therapy is incredible and brings us so much joy. Now all three of them participate in this wonderful wellness routine,” Sarah said.
Sweet Heidi will never have to search for food, water or a safe place to sleep again. She bravely stared survival in the face while alone on the streets and found what some may describe as a pet paradise. Sarah and Len generously provide the loving home for Heidi that our staff and volunteers sincerely wish for each and every pet in our shelters.
You made it brave girl, enjoy every blissful moment with your incredible new family!